Friday, July 27, 2018

Plateau on the Radio: Episode 24 Rock Art of the Plateau

Listen to Episode 24 HERE...

Look closely in many places on the Plateau and it is almost inevitable that you will find at least one piece of rock art. From the smallest spiral tucked away somewhere to whole panels of petroglyphs and pictographs, sometimes along a canyon wall for as far as you can see.

San Juan Anthropomorphs which date to the Basketmaker II Period
 - Bears Ears National Monument, UT.
Photo by Alan Kressler

Our great guest interview this week is with archaeologist Michael Terlep who extensively studied the enigmatic cup and channel petroglyphs of the Arizona Strip and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Michael shares with us the idea of Landscape Theory, the importance of working with the Nations of the Plateau to bring about a complete understanding of rock art, and some great places on the Plateau to go gaze at rock art and let your mind wander to ancient times.

One of the many Cup and Channel Petroglyphs.

An enhanced version of the debated Mammoth petroglyph at Upper
Sand Island, UT, that Michael Terlep mentioned.
Enhanced photo by Ekkehart Malotki
Also on the show: The importance of peer-review, Notes from the Field all about a new dinosaur species discovered on the Plateau and myths surrounding rattlesnakes, and an Audio Postcard from the Plateau by contributor Ashley Doyle.

Check out some of archaeologist Michael Terlep's amazing research below:

Water, Pitch, and Prehistoric Indexes: An Analysis of Cup and Channel Petroglyphs (Terlep, 2013. American Indian Rock Art, Volume 39, 2013)

From the Canyon to the Staircase: Expanding the Paleolithic Presence in the Arizona Strip (Bryce and Terlep, 2017)

Archaeological and Historical Survey of Ebon Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands (Terlep, 2013)


  1. I have a photo of similar grooves in northern New Mexico. Could they have a similar explanation? I could post a picture.

    1. Hi, thanks so much for your comment. Would love to see your photograph, absolutely. It is thought that there are probably many more of these cup and channel petroglyphs around, but they just haven't been documented yet.

  2. The gigantic cost of doing Census 2011 in India is overwhelming $2 billion. Is there any Fortune 500 listed company, which is daring enough to wash out such big chunk from its balance sheet for a research? They can have it for some advertising campaign but for research, it is quite a

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